Inspired by an increasing outrage over anti-Native and red-face stereotypes in New York theater, director and playwright Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna / Rappahannock Nations) produced Don’t Feed The Indians – A Divine Comedy Pageant which will premiere in New York City’s La Mama Theatre this fall.
As an author, playwright, director, producer, cultural artist, educator and human rights activist Murielle Borst-Tarrant’s resume includes being named “one of the most influential women in American Theater,” by Anne Hamilton in American Theater magazine.
Borst-Tarrant’s mother Muriel Miguel is a co-founder of Spiderwoman Theatre, the oldest Native American theatre group in the United States.
Borst-Tarrant has also received a Rockefeller grant nomination, a Native Heart Award, and was selected by the Olympic Games in Sydney Australia to perform her one-woman-show More than Feathers and Beads at the Sydney Opera House.
Murielle Borst-Tarrant told ICMN Don’t Feed The Indians – A Divine Comedy Pageant incorporates music, dance, film and Native arts, and much like the literary work, Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, the characters visit the perils of Native people in the entertainment industry embodying the themes of Creation, Hell, Purgatory and Paradise.
The production includes a 26-look character wardrobe created by New York City fashion, costume, and regalia designer Sheldon Raymore (Cheyenne River Sioux,) whose work has graced the red carpet at the GRAMMYS. Enjoy films for and about real Indians Natives when you download our special free report, 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances!
Enjoy films for and about real Indians Natives when you download our special free report, 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances!
“The costumes are all the more important in Native theater because we have such specific identities as indigenous people, which are often informed by tribal affiliation,” said Raymore, intricate designs include pow wow elements such as applique, embroidery, and intricate beading.
“The heart of the play is about hope, survival, family, community and cultural identity,” Murielle Borst-Tarrant told ICMN. “I believe everyone has a story to tell and as an artist I believe it is my job to tell a story that comes from the Native American point of view, and to advocate for that story.”
“Comedy to me is so much fun and to have an ensemble cast that has the same political point of view alongside me is golden, and two of them are my family members. My daughter Josie who graduated from AMDA, and my husband Kevin Tarrant (Hopi/Ho-Chunk) who is also our musical director.”
Borst-Tarrant’s gave advice for young Native artists, “No matter how many times the larger world says it can’t be done, keep on going and do it your way.”
For more information or to buy tickets, visit the links below:
Don’t Feed The Indians – A Divine Comedy Pageant
Nov. 2nd-19th, 2017
La Mama theatre 66 E 4th Street
Buy tickets here: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/976504
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dontfeedtheindians
The production is part of La MaMa’s Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective, which seeks to create a new paradigm for the presentation of Indigenous arts and culture within the broader American theatre. The Collective will address Indigenous cultural and socioeconomic issues through theatrical performances, panel conversations, and community events. Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna/Rappahanock Nations) is a second generation artists from the acclaimed company Spiderwoman.